Introduction: Carving a Horse (Knight Chess Piece)

About: The name says it all. And Sea Shanties. I like those too.

Hello, Instructables! This is a fun little project for the bored or otherwise needy, and I would suggest this for those of you who enjoy whittling or carving!

I'm not big on carving chess sets, they usually take really long and don't turn out well (that's just my experience, though, and I am by no means an expert). I've never actually seen anyone make a Knight like this before--I just made it up when I was (trying) to make a chess set. The Knight pieces were the only ones that turned out really well.

So let's get in to it! This is my first I'dible, so I apologize for poor spelling, or confusing steps. I'll try and fix that if I can.

Kinda Important Note; Don't cut yourself. I'm not responsible for what your pretty fingers do, so don't come yelling at me about how Uncle Brokk didn't tell you all the consequences. To avoid being cut, I'd advise using softer wood, or at least wet wood. More importantly; KEEP YOUR KNIFE SHARP!! If you don't, I'll slap the stupid out you. Your knife is your best friend, despite your differences. Knife's a sharp one, I'll give him that...

Step 1: Pick Thy Wood.

This bit's pretty dang simple. Find a piece of wood. Cut it. Slice it into a thousand pieces and throw it into Tartarus.

Advice on cutting wood; to prevent harming the tree, try and cut at a fork of the branch, not wham-smack in the middle of the tree. This hurts the tree. Big no-no. If you have some, use some tree paint to help seal the wound.

I have no idea what wood this is, but it seemed to carve pretty well.

Step 2: Square It to Size.

Depending on the size of your horse, cut the wood to match. My piece was about 1 inch thick-ish, and maybe 2 1/2 inches high. Sorry, didn't measure it.

Now taper the sides upward, from about halfway up the 'log' or blank. Not rocket surgery. You're not making a point, just a thinner top. The second picture shows one side carved to shape, and the fourth picture shows both sides tapered. Again, not rocket surgery.

Tamper the top to make a triangle shape, like in the third and fourth picture. This will be the horse's head.

Step 3: Ah, the Horse Arrives!

Now, lend me your ears. Or eyes, since your reading this. Whatever. Look at the second picture. It's called a V-cut, where the first cut comes in at an angle, and the second cut comes from the other direction. The cuts meet and cut out a little V in the wood. These form the horse's ears.

Don't cut with too much force or too deeply; some woods will split or the ears will break.

Step 4: No Skin Off My Nose...

This part is probably the most difficult. To make the horse's neck, you need to make sloping cuts. I'd advice removing all the bark from the front of the horse, from halfway up, like the tapered sides, only not as deep. You're just trying to get rid of the bark.

Then begins the neck. This will take several cuts. Don't use hard wood for this project, 'cause it could slide off and cut your hand.

First cut; a slight sloping undercut. On this cut, you're not pulling off any wood, you're just cutting. The second cut should pinch off the wood, connecting to the previous cut. By doing this, you'll slowly dig a little hole under the horse's head, slowly making the jaw/neck. Be careful when doing the undercut, 'cause you might actually slice off the horse's nose. I don't think he'll appreciate that, and you're project will be ruined, probably.

Sorry if the pictures are unclear, I was preoccupied with the project.

Step 5: MAKE AN ARMY!!

Taa-da! There you go, how to carve a horse. If you feel like it, give it a brush over with sandpaper. I didn't have any, so the horses came out a little rough around the edges.

If you make enough of these, you could make quite a fearsome cavalry, for trampling your friends with!

Thanks for reading, folks! Brokk will return! Have a good time carving and keep your fingers! Beware hangliding cows and keep your projects away from trolls!